The trial of Muslim Brotherhood Vice Supreme Guide Khairat El-Shater and 17 others is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Moqattam Misdemeanour Court. The men have been charged with assaulting journalists and an activist during a demonstration.
Among the men in court are seven of the Vice Supreme Guide’s bodyguards.
El-Shater, the Brotherhood’s second-in-command, was arrested on 5 July, two days after the ousting of the Brotherhood–backed former president, Mohamed Morsi.
He has been held in Tora Prison since, and has recently begun a hunger strike along with 450 other Brotherhood affiliated prisoners.
El-Shater is also being charged with a number of other crimes, including inciting violence and espionage in tandem with Hamas, a Brotherhood offshoot operating in the Gaza Strip.
El-Shater’s son was also arrested by interim authorities on 28 August. He is facing charges of funding and inciting violence.
Since the 3 July ousting of Morsi, interim authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood leadership. Interim authorities designated the group as a terrorist organisation on 25 December.
All top leaders have been arrested or are on the run, while supporters can face five year prison terms for attending a protest. Protest organisers are subject to the death penalty.